What is fueling nationalist movements around the globe? What is the root cause of Brexit, the crises in the Middle East, and the Donald Trump phenomenon? What do you think can be the zeitgeist of today — a single word to explain the world?
The German word zeitgeist means the spirit of the age and connotes a dominant drive embedded in the minds of the members of any society in a particular period of time that motivates their actions.
To make an educated guess, let’s see what they have in common.
Racism and economic grievances can be considered plausible candidates, but they have been around since at least the dawn of the century. They cannot be translated into tangible collective realities without a powerful force, something like a great war or depression, momentous enough to transform them into mass movements.
It is worth remembering that the world has already experienced big wars and recessions, and social democracy and liberal movements can be…